Eight cool things I saw on my bike commute this week

This VW bus lives in front of a house on Shoal Creek Boulevard. Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman

This VW bus lives in front of a house on Shoal Creek Boulevard. Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman

Vintage cars, giant cactus, public art, friendly folks – I saw all those things this week on my daily commute to work.

img_0014What do you see on your way to the office? Send me pictures, and I’ll share some of them here each week.

1. I’ve ogled a VW bus parked in front of a house along Shoal Creek Boulevard for years. I finally stopped, knocked on the door of the house where it lives, and asked if I could snap a few pictures. That bus reminds me of one we had when I was growing up. We had two, actually – a green one, then a marigold yellow one. When the green one got rusty, my dad bought plate-sized flower-shaped stickers to cover up the bad spots. When the yellow one broke down, he and his buddy rebuilt it. At one point, they towed it around the neighborhood, trying to jump start it while it shot flames out the tailpipe. I posted a picture of the one on Shoal Creek and received a flood of notes from folks who also loved VW buses. And I discovered that this one belongs to a local triathlete.

I found John Conley on the trail this morning. Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman

Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman

2. Every time I ride my bike to work, I bump into a few people I know. This morning I found

former Austin Marathon & Half Marathon director John Conley at the trailhead to the Butler Hike and Bike Trail. He calls the back of his car his locker room, and it’s full of water and sunscreen and bags and physical therapy equipment. Conley spent weeks in the hospital and underwent several surgeries last year after contracting flesh-eating bacteria, but he’s back!

This sign stands in front of a swing on Shoal Creek Boulevard. Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman

Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman

3. Need a free ride? This side stands next to a swing in front of a house on Shoal Creek Boulevard.

Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman

Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman

4. We grow big cactus here in Austin, including this prickly pear next to the sidewalk on Shoal Creek Boulevard.

Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman

Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman

5. If you don’t have a bike of your own, rent one from Austin B-cycle, Austin’s bike share system. This station is located at Zilker Park, right along Barton Springs Road.

Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman

Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman

6. The lines of the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge always draw my eye. It’s as pretty from below as it is from the top.

Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman

Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman

7. This stretch picnic table ranks as my favorite place to celebrate birthdays – or anything. The table cloth is already set, just bring your own friends (and maybe a cake.) It’s located on the south side of the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge.

Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman

Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman

8. The Long Center kind of reminds me of a convertible spaceship that plopped down in downtown Austin. I’ve perfected the art of propping up my bike using my helmet, so I parked it in front of the landing zone.

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